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America - Front

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Review Scores

VGChartz Score
7.7
                         

Ratings

     

Alternative Names

Dead Rising: Zombie no Ikenie

デッドライジング ゾンビのいけにえ

Developer

Capcom Production Studio 1 / TOSE Software

Genre

Action

Release Dates

02/24/09 Capcom
02/19/09 Capcom
02/27/09 Capcom

Community Stats

Owners: 52
Favorite: 1
Tracked: 1
Wishlist: 7
Now Playing: 1
 
7.1

Avg Community Rating:

 

Zombies in a mall, take them down.

02nd Jul 2009 | 1,612 views 


LordTheNightKnight

User Score
8.5
                         

Presentation - 9.0
Gameplay - 8.5
Value - 9.5
More action than horror, this trailblazing port of a trailblazing game fulfills the one type of play option left out of the sandbox of the first game: gunning and hacking down zombies like Ash.

First of all, anyone who claims I decided this game was good before it came out didn't pay attention to what I wrote (or is projecting). My point was that it could go either way, and we should wait until it came out.

Now that it's out, and I've played it enough, I feel I can make a proper judgement. And considering if the unprecedented nature of putting an already unprecedented game on the Wii, this could have turned out a buggy and unplayable mess. That isn't the case.

(Note: For clarity, the original version of Dead Rising will be referred to as its full name or DR. This game will be referred to as its full name or CTYD.)

Story:

Frank West is a freelance journalist who gets a scoop something is happening in a small US town, and the "something" turns out to be zombies in the George Romero vein. Frank hires a guy to fly him in, and Frank lands on top of the local mall. As zombies invade the place, Frank has to stay alive among the undead horde and find out what caused all this.

But really, I don't care much for the plot. It's a serviceable B Movie plot, and I would give it a 6 or 7 if there was a rating for that. Heck the reason I don't have a hard numbere is that I haven't watched all the cut scenes yet. (I also don't care that they are FMVs, since I didn't mind those on the PS2 version of RE4, and would be a downright hypocrite to call on that here.)

To me, the plot without the cut scenes is this: You are trapped in a mall with zombies and survivors. You have to get yourself and the survivors to safety while blasting and smashing anyone who gets in your way, undead or otherwise.

Presentation:

To explain why I feel as I do about the presentation, I will clarify why both games are trailblazers.

System resources are not just about what you fit in. They are about the specific way each part of a game area uses up those resources.

For example, I have yet to see someone claim Grand Theft Auto San Andreas looks bad compared to Metal Gear Solid 3 (both came out the same year). This is because they realize the raw size of GTA games means graphics have to be sacirificed to fit in such huge areas.

What those gamers don't realize is that applies even wen the differences in games are smaller and less obvious. How a game uses the resources depends on many factors. And when it comes to the factors of Dead Rising, I honestly don't know any game that uses the system resources in the way it does.

This is what takes up the resources in a typical area (obviously areas like the tunnels would work differently):

  • A free camera and 60 frames per second. But it's not a smooth framerate. Slowdown does occasionally happen.
  • About 2-3 dozen sub areas.
  • Each sub area has a completely different set of textures and polygon models (with some exceptions).
  • All those areas are presented in a non linear fashion that you can freely run back and forth to.
  • Around 100-300 active zombies, which have their own different set of textures and polygon models, in addition to requiring animations.
    • Not to mention the corpses have to be around until Frank moves far enough away, and the active zombies have to be respawned and moved around to keep the density high (it's just not that obvious to see unless you look for it).
  • And yet another set of textures, polygons, and animations for Frank and the survivors.
  • Loads of items you can pick up and use.
  • Lots of real time lighting, including reflections and shadows.
  • To make room for all this, the polygon count and texture resolution is reduced, comparable to the level of GTA-style games for the HD systems.
    • The texture resolution for DR at best is only twice that of Resident Evil 4, Final Fantasy XII, and Zelda Twilight Princess. Only twice. It's not that obvious because the camera is usually so far back, but trust me, it's really low for an HD system.
    • The polygon count for enemies is estimated by some to be about half again as high as the enemies in RE4. I repeat, only 50% higher.
  • Finally, all of these things are in the RAM at one time. No streaming. Which means that even though sandbox games could use up resources in similar ways, they do not have it all in an area at once.

Again, if there was another game like that on any game system before this game was made, I'd like to hear about it. As far as I know Dead Rising is the first game to use system resources in this way, thus it's a trailblazer.

And if that kind of game has never been done before, and it's made for an HD system, then remaking it for the Wii means that kind of game had never been done for an SD system. Hence another trailblazer.

As is likely indicated above, I try to look at games as a whole, and not just if it includes something or not. I want to take everything into account, and see why a game turned out the way it did.

This is why I don't think the game was lazy, or even that it was possible to be lazy:

  • The Wii's specs are an obvious factor (athough the laws of economics are more to blame than anything else). Anyone who thinks that lacking a spare CPU core to handle all those enemies is not going to cut into the total isn't going to prove the developers are lazy. It's just going to prove you don't understand how vital the multicore processors are to handling AI of that scale (note I mean "scale", not quality, as there are 6th gen games with great AI, just not as many enemies).
  • The MT Framework is not a scaleable engine. It doesn't matter if Capcom used the RE4 engine, the Monster Hunter 3 engine, or a brand new engine. They would still have to start game development from scratch. Even the final design of DR wouldn't help that much as a goal as duplicating it would be impossible to achieve.
  • Again, they had to remake every asset from scratch. There are plenty of people in game design who can tell you how much work that is.
  • This was, as stated, the first such game developed for the Wii. There was no precedent, no road map to follow, nothing to let them know what would work best and what wouldn't work. Anyone who think firsts of that kind are going to turn out some perfectly polished thing just shows you don't know the history of firsts in electronics.

So considering all that it had going against it, it's actually a miracle that Chop Till You Drop turned out as well as it did.

A typical area has:

  • A free camera (through the d-pad and gun aiming) and 30 frames per second, but solid. No slowdown (not even RE4 Wii edition is free from that).
  • Two thirds as many sub areas as the 360 version.
  • Each sub area still has a completely different set of textures and polygon models (with some exceptions).
    • But that's still about 4x as many sets as in RE4. A typical area in RE4 would either have areas with more variety in the textures but lower polygon counts (the castle), or detailed higher polygon areas with less variety in the textures (the village and the base). These two factors make it clear to me that the RE4 Wii Edition engine did not limit CTYD in terms of graphics.
  • All those areas are again presented in a non linear fashion that you can freely run back and forth between.
  • Around 40-60 active zombies, which have their own different set of textures and polygon models, in addition to requiring animations. (RE4 could run just 10-30, with slowdown more likely at the higher enemy number)
    • The animations even had to be reprogrammed to run at 30 fps, while still looking as smooth.
    • The zombie number included the special zombies, which have, yet again their own textures, polygons, and animations.
    • The corpses fade away, but these zombies do leave power ups, which don't fade away (also something RE4 doesn't do), and the active zombies have to be respawned and moved around to keep the density high (it's just that it's a lot more obvious here).
  • And yet another set of textures, polygons, and animations (also redone for 30 fps) for Frank and the survivors.
  • A smaller load of items you can pick up and use, but they are there just the same.
  • While textures took a major hit to make room in DR, the texture resolution in CTYD drop is as high as in RE4 (and the other games mentioned above). So even though the Wii's texture memory is less than 1/4 of the 360's (depending on how much of the unified RAM), the texture resolution is 1/2.
    • And that's important, since many of the small details needed to be there. This becomes especially evident in the grocery store.
  •  To make room for all this, the polygon count and effects took a hit.
    • Since the polygon count for DR was low already, and the count is still far higher than it would be for a GTA game on the PS2/PSP, I won't really count that against it.
    • The lighting effects seem to be the biggest graphica loss. Since the textures and polygons are so low in DR, the lighting goes a long way to make up for it. Now it could be done to fit on the Wii, but the Wii cannot afford to set aside a stock chunk of VRAM for effects and lighting the way the HD systems can.
    • Take Real time shadows. Either polygon models with all black shading are used (which means more polygons the resources need to make room for), or drawing them into the lighting (which can consume even more resources than the other way). So sometimes there actually is no effective way to make shadows other than circular ones.
  • And once again, all that is stored in the RAM at once, with no streaming. Even RE4 does streaming if an area is large enough.

Okay, so taking all that into account, I'm giving the presentation a 9. They put all that into the game without any previous experience on how to do it. The game still has most of the detail, and runs smoothly. There is some clipping (which RE4 had, so the engine can be blamed for that). But otherwise it looks great. And hopefully any further games on the Wii will look even better (perhaps knowing how to squeeze in some real time lighting), now that they finally have a game with which to build upon.

Gameplay:

It's basically RE4, but with an increased emphasis on melee combat, to take advantage of all the weapons lying around.

This is where "gunning and hacking down zombies like Ash" comes in. Okay, you can't ride on a moving shopping cart while shooting your shotgun, but you still get to feel more like you're battling the zombies in CTYD than in DR.

I know DR is touted as a game where you fight hordes of zombies, but that is not the case. My brother loves the game, and even he knows that notion is just bunk. You try to play the game by mowing down the zombies in your way, and not even the best weapon/book combination will help you (which requires either an FAQ guide or a lot of trial and error to figure out anyway).

Dealing with zombies in DR usually involved trying to get around them if you just want to get somewhere, trying to knock down those in your way if you're doing escort missions, having some fun with them to take different pictures (more on that later), or actually trying to take some out for experience. And in the latter, you're best off just using the cars. Anything else just isn't that effective (as in it will break before you reach a kill count even approaching a horde).

CTYD not only makes it possible play the game by mowing down the zombies in your way, it encourages it. You get not only experience, but also money drops (which are also possible with super moves, over half brought over from DR), and ammo, thus increasing the longevity of your zombie slaying. Plus you get better scores in escort missions by taking out more zombies. So this game wants you to play it like every zombie in your way is (un)dead meat.

Not only are the guns in CTYD useful, the melee weapons are damn effective. You just get one at a time (if you pick up a large weapon when you have a smaller one, the smaller weapon can't be used at that time), but all have a use. The larger weapons are the most powerful, but slow, and like in DR will get knocked out of your hands if hit. So I honestly save those for emergencies. The smaller melee weapons are very handy. While most are for attacking (save for the skateboard), they all have different "stats", in things like range, arc, power, speed, and durability (the toy lightsaber has the lowest of the latter in trade for very high stats in the others). Either way, any weapon you pick up can be just as effective as the guns if you use them right.

You don't get to jump in this game, but as the point is to face the zombies, not avoid them, it didn't really matter to me. Okay, losing jump kicks, flash kicks, and roundhouse kicks is a loss, but not too big a deal.

But as much as I love the gameplay, there are a few reasons I can't give it as high as score as the presentation.

One of the lesser reasons is the camera, which would have added some variety to the gameplay. I realized that with corpses fading (so you can't take pictures of bodies) and with zombies more aggressive (so up close pictures are not advised), the camera just didn't seem feasible to them. Perhaps anothr DR game on the Wii will feature Frank or another photographer, and there will be a revamped camera system that takes those into account. And no worries about control. Just map it to where the rifles are, and it will be the default "weapon" there. So for the loss of a cool feature, I'm docking a small bit off the score.

More important is the double pressing for context sensitive moves. I would understand if there wasn't a free button, but "C" isn't used, unless you're using the rifles. What was wrong with using that button? I got used to this, but it is awkward.

The biggest annoyance is the shortcuts. Once you rescue Greg from the Wonderland ride, he offers you an instant trip to Cletus's shop when not on a mission, or an instant trip to the area of the survivors when on a mission. The former is perfectly fine, especially when you aren't in between mission. But the latter is a ripoff. You don't just get charged money to use it, you also can't get any higher ranking than a B, and lose reward money and bonus mission. Couldn't they just have him charge more as a sufficient trade?

I was tearing my hair out for the first two playthroughs unti I noticed that Otis was telling me not to try the shortcut (usually I don't bother to read those messages, as he often just said words of encouragement, not actual useful infromation).

That's not laziness in porting. That's just a bad design choice. That docks a whole point off my score, plus another .5 for the smaller problems. Okay, I just wanted to dock .3, but it's forcing me to round out that out, so 8.5

Value:

Although the new game plus, and the bonus missions, are more to challenge yourself in CTYD, instead of trying different playthroughs the way it was in DR, you still get a lot of gameplay for your $40.

You don't have to buy this, as it's not for everyone, and it's likely Capcom just wanted to start pushing the Wii, using this game as a base, but if you like games that involve gunning down the bad guys, it will likely be worth your money. 9.5

Overall:

A different beast than Dead Rising, so it's best enjoyed on its own terms. 8.5


Sales History

Total Sales
0.05m
Japan
0.15m
NA
0.07m
Europe
0.02m
Others
0.29m
Total
1 9,213 n/a n/a 9,213
2 3,009 13,283 5,830 3,547 25,669
3 3,009 11,291 4,767 2,987 22,054
4 3,240 6,908 3,017 1,859 15,024
5 3,619 5,033 2,127 1,354 12,133
6 3,271 4,092 1,949 1,143 10,455
7 3,348 3,510 1,637 979 9,474
8 3,003 3,138 1,315 850 8,306
9 2,702 2,815 1,031 737 7,285
10 2,110 2,622 717 640 6,089

Opinion (63)

pizdek posted 04/04/2015, 12:53
Great game. Many say even better than x360 original.
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johnsobas posted 23/12/2013, 03:24
this game gets a lot crap because it is compared to the 360 one, but it's actually a pretty good game on its own. I recently picked it up for cheap and it is not bad at all. I haven't played the 360 version just DR2 on PS3 which i love. I would recommend the game if you can get it for cheap, the price is still holding up decently well probably because it didn't sell very well. There are a lot less zombies but they do some things to make up for that and the controls are much better in this version, the wiimote aiming is very cool. There isn't a lot of unnecessary waggling like some earlier wii games, shaking off zombies feels great although the thrusting is kinda silly.
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johnsobas posted 23/12/2013, 03:24
this game gets a lot crap because it is compared to the 360 one, but it's actually a pretty good game on its own. I recently picked it up for cheap and it is not bad at all. I haven't played the 360 version just DR2 on PS3 which i love. I would recommend the game if you can get it for cheap, the price is still holding up decently well probably because it didn't sell very well. There are a lot less zombies but they do some things to make up for that and the controls are much better in this version, the wiimote aiming is very cool. There isn't a lot of unnecessary waggling like some earlier wii games, shaking off zombies feels great although the thrusting is kinda silly.
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spurgeonryan posted 09/12/2010, 03:24
Wow! what was that argument about? This is still not too good.
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spurgeonryan posted 24/02/2010, 06:21
I was just saying that if they fixed there online then that would be a good game for nintendo to port to the Wii, it had nothing to do with this crap shoot, but go ahead sound mean I dont care, I've been banend for sounding mean, it only last a day! wooo hoo! glad they updated this though, not too bad in the end.
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Roflinator posted 21/01/2010, 05:49
@spurgeonryan
I...can't think of anything to say about your post without sounding mean. What the hell are you even talking about? Online? L4D? How can any one get mixed up with L4D and Dead Rising? Seriously.

@primogen18
I see no point in advertising something if it's not good at all.
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